Posted by: scootrah | November 17, 2014

Make it Easy on Yourself Thanksgiving – Tip #1

Thanksgiving is not just my favorite holiday, but it’s my favorite meal to cook. We always had big family gatherings Burslem R. Midwinter Ltd.when I was a kid – grandmas, mom and aunts bustling around the kitchen and occasionally pulling my brothers, cousins and me away from a Monopoly or Chinese Checkers marathon to help peel carrots or potatoes, set the table and stir gravy, while grandpa, dad and uncles occupied the kids with outside games, organizing and sorting Christmas decorations to be put up over the long weekend and keeping a toasty fire going in the big stone fireplace. My grandmother always served mountains of food at dinner, and she crowned the whole meal by serving each kid in attendance their own turkey leg.

But hosting and cooking a Thanksgiving meal can strike panic attacks in seasoned and novice cooks alike – first of all it’s not just a meal, but an event. With a large group of family and friends invited to enjoy the feast, there’s added pressure to set the stage for a relaxing and memorable celebration. Secondly, because the meal is pulled out just once a year, a lot of cooks feel a bit rusty with the food, timing and techniques necessary to pull it off. By planning and prepping the entertaining and food now, your culinary star will shine bright at the holiday table.

I’m breaking it down for you and giving you a tip or two each day so you don’t get overwhelmed next week – short assignments help you stay on track!

Do this today:

Who’s at the Table? By now you have probably invited friends and family to dinner and know who’s joining you. If not, DO IT TODAY – people may have to arrange travel, pet sitting, etc., and could have already accepted other invitations. Don’t assume that somebody knows they’re invited or because they’ve always come to your place for the meal that they’re expecting to again. If you have invited folks already, confirm with them TODAY – Although I prefer a phone call for this, a short email or text reminder with a request for their confirmation works too.

What are we eating? Look through your recipes and make sure you have the cooking equipment needed, then start your grocery list now. If you’re trying something new this year, give it a dry run in the next week, especially if you are unfamiliar with the techniques or ingredients used. This is not the meal you want your new holiday all-star to strike out at. I’ll be posting some of our family holiday favorite recipes in the next couple weeks for you to consider, and there are dozens of magazines on store shelves now with great Thanksgiving recipes to try if you’d like to add a new dish to the table.

So as for a side dish – why not bump up your regular glazed carrots with this honey lime version I make? The flavor goes great with turkey or ham, and will definitely satisfy your vegetarian diners. The grated ginger really puts the holiday flavor in it!

Honey Lime Glazed Carrots

  • 1 lb carrots, washed, peeled and oblique cut (or cut into coins if you prefer)
  • 1.5 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
  1. In a saucepan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter over medium high heat. Add the carrots and toss to coat with butter.
  2. Add 1/4 cup water, cover tightly, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Simmer until carrots are almost fork tender – probably 10-14 minutes depending on the thickness of your carrots.
  4. Remove the lid and add the honey, lime juice, ginger and remaining .5 Tbsp of butter, stirring or tossing to coat the carrots.
  5. Continue to simmer until the remaining water has evaporated and the carrots are tender and coated with the honey lime glaze.
  6. Season to taste with salt and garnish with chopped parsley if desired and serve.

Quick AND easy! IMG_5371

Depending on your taste preference, you may want it sweeter or more tart, so adjust honey and/or lime accordingly.




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